fbpx
Adventures In Audio with Audio Masterclass
Why would you ever want to place a microphone behind the instrument?

Why would you ever want to place a microphone behind the instrument?

FREE EBOOK DOWNLOAD ►

There are two basic rules of microphone placement. The first is to point the microphone at the sound source. The second is that the microphone should be closer than the natural listening distance. There are of course a few exceptions to these rules, but the exceptions are indeed few.

One non-exception is the French horn, known to classical musicians simply as the horn. This is a peculiar instrument that directs sound to the rear of the player.

Why no-one ever thought to design a forward-firing French horn is a mystery.

If you need to record a solo horn, or a French horn section as shown in the picture, then it makes sense to put the microphone behind the player so that it picks up the sound directly.

But when the horns are playing in the context of an orchestra, there is more to think about.

Firstly, the audience would naturally hear the reflected sound of the horn rather than the direct sound. So you might decide that no special treatment is necessary. Classical orchestra miking is done by section rather than by instrument. So the entire brass section could be covered perfectly well by two microphones, the French horns simply taking their chances.

Ebook = Equipping Your Home Recording Studio
FREE EBOOK - Equipping Your Home Recording Studio

This can work. The horns will be at a level that is subjectively on a par with the rest of the brass. However, where all sounds well in a concert, the microphone will definitely give away the fact that the horns are pointing in the wrong direction.

So you could decide to add an extra mic or two behind the horns. This will work too, with careful setting of levels, and perhaps a little EQ to 'dull down' the horns to a more natural perspective.

Another more surprising solution is to place a reflective surface behind the horns. This could be a sheet of wood, or in fact any hard flat surface that can be moved into a suitable location.

The French horn problem is one that is perfectly straightforward to solve. However, one does have to wonder when the forward-firing French horn will be invented.

David Mellor

Layout, Signal Flow & I/O

Layout, Signal Flow & I/O

This high level audio course is essential knowledge for anyone who wants to learn how analog consoles and their state of the art studios are "wired up." It gives you the deepest possible understanding of mixing console Signal Flow and I/O both analog & digital.

Learn more...

Add comment








David Mellor

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE GUIDE

Transform Your Recording Skills All The Way To PRO STUDIO LEVEL

Ready to take your recording to the next level? Now you can - With The Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course

VIDEO COURSES FROM AUDIO MASTERCLASS

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE GUIDE

Free Download

WAIT! Do you know how to build the best home recording studio for the lowest cost?

Download our guide to ensure you make the right choices and get the best value for money

Your home recording studio should help you make great music

And save you money in the process!

With our free guide you’ll learn how to choose the best equipment and software to build your own first-class home recording studio